By THEODORE BAWORO
Sunday 19th February, 2017 THE morning of 19th February was as cold as the previous. I woke up early at around five thirty. After packing my belongings I headed out to witness the spectacular Bundi sunrise for the last time. There was a palpable feeling of cool serenity as the refreshing morning air hit my face. For a long while I just stood there on the verandah to try to catch a hint of sunlight. As minutes passed, the clearing sky reflected the sunbeams dancing in the horizon. I tried as best I could to capture everything I could about those moments in my head.
Our breakfast at around seven consisted of fried sweet potato chips and hot sago pudding washed won with cups of hot creamy coffee. After breakfast we (visitors) retreated to our rooms to pack our bags. We also cleaned our rooms and their surrounds and left the beautiful Snow Pass Eco-lodge.
With our backpacks and cargo, we carefully trekked down the ridge and up another hill to where our landcruiser was parked.
After packing my bag into the vehicle it was time to shake hands with the local people who had come to bid their goodbyes. Pictures were taken and as I mixed around with the crowd I urged everyone to continue to support the ecotourism project and the vision that
Vincent Kumura has for them.
At around nine, our 4×4 tooted at our hosts as we all waved each other goodbye for the final time. As the vehicle slowly headed down the mountain, we couldn’t help but agree that Snow Pass Eco-Lodge was a truly a magnificent haven for nature enthusiasts.
On our trip back to Madang, we snuck in a couple of stops along the way to take in some of the scenic views and cascading waterfalls. We had a longer stopover at Bundi’s Baiya River, where everyone had a chance to cool off with a refreshing swim in the cold and fast flowing water.
We also had a chance to visit Bundi Station and St. Michael’s Brahman Catholic Secondary school on our way back to Madang.
Madang truly is a province that boasts white sandy beaches and idyllic islands to places such as Snow Pass Eco-Lodge where visitors can truly get the best of the coast, and the best of the cool hinterlands of PNG.
Papua New Guineans should not be relying only on foreign visitors to contribute to tourism in the country. We should also take pride in the diversity of our cultures and peoples and take the time to visit the different places to truly appreciate the uniqueness of the land of 800 languages.
- Theodore Baworo teaches Planning & Management in Ecotourism at Divine Word University.